Building Strategic Plan to Help Agency Achieve 5x Revenues & Profits
Our business was expanding rapidly but straining our resources as we were working at a pace that was unsustainable. We needed a strategic plan that could help us determine our path forward, continue to develop the team and the business, but keep us authentic in the music space. We recognized we couldn't do this on our own, but thought an outside consultant wouldn’t “get us” or be too formal - we have a low tolerance for bullshit or suits and ties. Oliver fit our culture with a process that was both engaging and entertaining. He helped us identify our competitive advantage and build our strategy with a plan we could execute on our own. Our renewed focus and positioning gained immediate results with new client wins and increased media exposure.
— KEVIN GOODMAN, CHIEF ENTERTAINMENT OFFICER, FRONT ROW CENTER MARKETING
The client is a high-energy, wonderfully creative music and lifestyle agency that was absolutely crushing it. Great clients. Great programs. Great revenues. This was coming at a cost. Delivering this excellence forced the company to operate at a hectic pace, stretching its bandwidth to the breaking point. The client was in full reaction mode, doing everything they had to do today to maintain their levels of service. They had no opportunity to lift their heads and catch their breath. Finding the time to strategically plan didn’t seem remotely possible. Additionally, they didn’t possess the professional tools, processes and know-how to confidently build a strategic plan on their own.
There was a secondary risk threatening the business. The client hadn’t clearly articulated its competitive advantage to the marketplace. Not doing so diluted the impact of their expertise and allowed larger, generic competitors to enter their niche and carve into their business.
The client was hesitant to engage an outside resource, as they were concerned their unconventional approach wouldn’t mesh with formal strategic planning. There was also reluctance to make the effort, fearing that any lessons learned would quickly be forgotten once the engagement concluded. After a couple of lengthy, informal chats, the client felt confident Salient Map could jam with them.
The client required training on holistic strategy, incorporating all elements of the strategy-execution playbook. They were ready to roll up their sleeves and do the work. (actually, this client’s sleeves were always rolled up - that was part of the fun).
Here’s what we worked on together:
Full Company Audit - understanding the history, uniqueness, successes and challenges of the organization. We went through a number of exercises including SWOT, Start/Stop/Keep, and Success in 3 Years.
Core Values & Core Purpose - although the client felt their values and purpose, they hadn’t captured it in a way that was meaningful to the marketplace. This took longer than expected, but was a breakthrough experience and set the stage for the strategy.
Target Market Analysis - exercises where the client had to get really honest about itself and its business. We discovered why clients truly did business with them and identified their unique advantage over their competitors.
Clarifying the Strategic Goal - leveraging their unique culture and competitive advantage to establish the mid & long term strategy for the organization (financial goals, client goals, personal goals, team goals). This is the Salient Map for the company.
Constraint Analysis - with the strategy in place, we identified the constraints that needed to be overcome to achieve success and the company goals; teaching the discipline of focusing resources on fewer items and doing them exceptionally well - the key to growth.
Execution Model - Building an execution plan on quarterly sprints, collectively tackling one or two company priorities. Teaching how to build a culture of accountability.
Meeting Rhythms - Learning how to meet properly and effectively. How to maintain alignment and accountability within the organization. Critical for an organization with taxed resources.
It was clear the client required a top to bottom scrub to capture its voice, define its competitive advantage in the marketplace, establish the strategy to dominate, and set the plan to execute. I accessed numerous resources from my strategic toolbox during our sessions, which are the assignments I enjoy best!
The client achieved the following tangible benefits:
A brand voice that strongly positioned the client as the true industry expert
Clearly established purpose, alignment and accountability
Immediate uptick in new client opportunities as well as increased media interest and promotion
A road map with an inspiring and achievable 3-5 year strategic plan delivering 5x revenue and profitability
Other measures of success included:
Strategic plan allowed the client to remain boutique and true to its culture
Client gained immediate traction and wins out the gate, quickly validating the process
Well defined strategy puts client on a path to dominate a niche market
Client developed the skills and confidence to amplify and execute their strategic plan on their own
This was a rewarding project for Salient Map. I took a very complex and intense process and packaged it in a manner that worked perfectly for the structure and culture of the client. The client continues to share with me how they are using the ‘playbook’ to drive the business forward and help them keep on rocking.
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